Honoring Lapu Lapu
Calling it the first Asian victory against colonial aggression, Sen. Richard Gordon yesterday led ceremonies at the Rizal Park to commemorate the 487th anniversary of the Battle of Mactan and to honor the memory of Lapu-Lapu, the first Filipino hero and the first Asian to successfully repel a colonial occupation force.
Gordon was joined by other dignitaries led by Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia, Rep. Carissa Coscolluela, Tourism Undersecretary Oscar Palabyab and Director DJ Bagatsing of the Philippine Tourism Authority, Administrator Armand Arreza of the Subi Bay Metropolitan Authority, and the Red Cross, which Gordon heads.
Also present were officers of the Armed Forces and the national police, Brig. Gen. Reynaldo Mapagu of the Army, Rear Admiral Amable Tolentino of the Navy, Vice Admiral Wilfredo Tamayo of the Coast Guard, Vice Admiral Joselito Aseniero of the PCGA and NCRPO police director Chief Supt. Geary Barias.
The celebration was also graced by Consul General Hong Sung Mog of the Republic of Korea and members of the Korea Freedom League, who donated the 40-foot Lapu-Lapu statue at the Rizal Park.
The 40-foot Lapu-Lapu statue was erected in 2003 by Gordon who secured a donation from the Korean Freedom League of P18 million. The statue was created by renowned sculptor and TOYM awardee Sajid Imao.
“Lapu-Lapu is personified in our national anthem by the verse ‘sa manlulupig di ka pasisiil’ and makes us proud to be Asia’s first to defeat a foreign invader. Lapu-Lapu should be an icon of our men in uniform who embodies the qualities of bravery, strength, honor, integrity and unwaivering principles,” Gordon said.
Garcia, who flew all the way from Cebu, said, “We in Cebu have our own festivities in honor of Lapu-Lapu. However, I recognize the significance of this event being held in the national park. The people of Cebu are grateful to Senator Gordon for his efforts in putting up the Lapu-Lapu monument here in our national park.”
“The Cebuanos deeply appreciate that Senator Gordon valiantly, courageously and patriotically fought to put Lapu-lapu in the national park. He has placed history in its proper place and the Cebuanos stand proud with him,” Garcia added.
Gordon, then Tourism secretary, fought for the construction of the Lapu-Lapu statue to honor the Visayan Muslim who was the first to thwart Spanish invaders on the island of Mactan in 1521.
Gordon has filed a bill proposing April 27 as a national holiday as Adlaw ni Lapu-Lapu or Lapu-Lapu Day.
Gordon, Cebu gov recall victory at Mactan
April 28, 2008 07:07 PM Monday